Leading the Way

Companionship and community

Pudding was bred by the Hong Kong Guide Dogs Association (HKGDA) in 2017, along with 18 guide dogs, as part of the guide breeding and education programme funded by Link Together Initiatives. This development programme is designed to benefit and raise awareness of visually impaired persons in Hong Kong.

Pudding is a great example of the success of this programme. She helps Koo Lai integrate into the community. When Koo Lai shops with Pudding by her side, more people come to chat with her. "Pudding has allowed me to integrate into the community with dignity. Now I feel so much happier."

Ideal urban guide dog training venues, courtesy of Link

HKGDA was established in 2011. Link quickly recognised the importance of the services provided by the HKGDA and began supporting HKGDA during its start-up period. Link made all its properties available for guide dogs’ training beginning in 2013, and it has supported HKGDA in developing guide dog services since 2014, including local breeding and training.

The dense urban space in Hong Kong often makes it necessary for visually impaired people to venture into shopping malls. It is therefore important for guide dogs in Hong Kong to get used to shopping malls during the training process. However, when guide dog services were first being implemented in Hong Kong, many shopping malls did not let dogs enter – even guide dogs who needed training. Link recognised this unmet need in the community and made its malls available for guide dog training purposes, making it a pioneer in this regard.

Link’s leadership in this area has prompted other organisations to follow the trend and let guide dogs enter their properties,

said Lam Wai Pong, Chairman of HKGDA.

Lending a helping hand to places beyond Hong Kong